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Uber Eats waives delivery fees for independent restaurants during COVID-19 pandemic

Kirsten Korosec

Uber Eats said Monday it will waive delivery fees for all orders from independently owned restaurants on the app as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and causes cities to shutter all non-essential businesses.

Restaurants throughout the U.S. are facing economic headwinds as city and state officials take steps to stop the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by novel coronavirus. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock ordered Monday the closure of all restaurants and bars except for delivery and carryout service for the next two months. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered all restaurants in the city to close, except for delivery and takeout, until at least March 31. New York City has directed all bars and restaurants to close. Restaurants in NYC can still deliver food.

There are more than 100,000 local restaurants on the Uber Eats app, according to the company.

"As more people stay home, local restaurants need your business more than ever. That’s why we’re waiving the Delivery Fee for all orders from every independent restaurant on Uber Eats—more than 100,000 local restaurants on the app," the company said in an email Monday morning.

Customers can find the independent restaurants by looking for the EAT LOCAL banner in the app. Delivery Fees will be automatically waived on all applicable orders.

Uber Eats is also taking precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, including the option of contactless deliveries, and is working to provide drivers with sanitation materials. The company added that "as always, your food items aren’t touched once they’ve been packed by the restaurant."

Uber Eats said it will support its delivery people and drivers with financial assistance in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure that prevents them from working, and is committing more than 300,000 free meals on Uber Eats to healthcare workers and first responders in the U.S. and Canada.